What is search intent?

To rank significantly higher in Google in 2019, search intent is usually an overlooked tool that is the way to go for SEO. This tool is the reason behind Google’s search query.

Why is this important?

SEO is one of (if not “the”) best way to go to obtain more traffic to your site.

When you rank high on Google, you’ll attract more visitors to your site.

Google Search
Google Search

Thus, with this tool, Google wants to give pages the highest rank possible for the specific search query’s intent and the search term. So, it’s imperative to ensure your page or post is going according to your audience’s intent.

The other reason why this tool is essential is due to Google’s goal in providing users with the most important result for them when it comes to their query. Google’s success relies on them, providing the most relevant result for users. Even Google’s mission speaks for itself, stating that their goal is to organize the information of the world and produce it for universal usefulness and accessibility.

Four kinds of searching intent

The following include these types:

Informational intent

Many times, users look for a wide range of information when searching online. The information could be about educating children, the weather, SEO, business ownership, etc.

Transactional intent

Many times, people want to purchase items on the Internet. So, they use transactional intent, which is to browse the web to search for the best purchase.

Navigational intent

With navigational intent, people are trying to obtain a specific site. So, the only way your site will rank high with navigational intent is when a lot of your organic traffic comes from people looking for your website.

Keyword intent

With keyword intent, people will type relatable words in search queries to show their purpose. They will use words, such as deal, buy, and discount to buy something, for instance. They will type in the item they want to buy. For example, if they’re going to buy an affordable wedding gown, they may type in “discount wedding gowns.”

Investigating Businesses

When searchers are in the market for a specific service or product, they may also perform commercial investigations many times when they don’t know much about the brand. So, they will perform various searches about various companies before making a decision on which brand is right for them or whether to do business with them at all. Some examples include: “Top restaurant in Canada,” “Probiotic Reviews,” “Best Adjustable Wristband,” “Most Affordable Vacation Guides,” etc.

How to infer these intents

The wording of the query is usually the apparent intent of the search. For instance, if a user typed in the question “how to invest in cryptocurrency,” it is obvious the user intends to find information about investing in cryptocurrency (informational). Another example includes a user typing in the search engine, “buying a bike.” The intent of the search for this individual is being in the market to buy a bike (transactional).

Many times, there are some keyword “modifiers” that will indicate a positive intent. If you use a keyword research tool, there are typically modifiers to filter keywords with a specified intention when researching keywords. For example, if you are searching for critical informational keywords for blog posts, you will first type in a few keywords, hit search, and choose a report on the menu for various keyword options. To start, the best thing to do is to choose something like “having the same terms.” Then you can copy and paste the modifier words into the “include” box and switch to “any word” in the toggle area. The result will yield only keywords with at least one modifier.

You can also use these same steps when searching for navigational, commercial investigation, or transactional keywords. Just copy and paste the modifiers’ list into the “include” box.

Search Intent
Search Intent

Keep in mind that modifiers are usually included; therefore, all keywords don’t have modifiers. However, there is a tool called SERP (Search Engine Result Page) that has featured snippets that are very beneficial for keywords. It’s not 100% foolproof either, but it is another useful option.

Google sometimes shows various features, including top search queries, shopping results, a knowledge card, AdWords ads, carousels, related questions, and video results. Knowing about this is vital because Google shows certain SERP features less or more frequently, depending on the search’s intent. So, if SERP features are available, you can use them to assist in inferring the purpose of a query.

For instance, featured snippets typically show up for information queries, and carousels and shopping results usually show up for transactional queries. So, you can exclude or include keywords with SERP features in a keyword tool. If you are looking for keywords for commercial navigation or transactional intent, you can decide to include only keywords with the SERP shopping feature. If you are looking for keywords for informational intent, you can use the knowledge panel featured a snippet of SERPs, like “people also ask,” and more.

Another vital notation is that search intent isn’t always binary, and many SERPs include the mixed purpose for searches. An example of diverse use is when searching for top-ranking results for an item. Let’s say the search is for “100-inch TVs”. People looking for this are mostly people in the market to buy a 100-inch TV. And thus, most of the search results will be product pages.

Let’s say that at the end of the first page or the beginning of the next page on the search engine will be a product review. In this case, the intent is informational. So, the top results will include mainly transactional and some informational intent due to many users in buying mode wanting to learn more about the product brand before purchasing it.

Optimizing content

To be successful with this tool, you must appeal to people’s wants. So, if people are looking for information, you shouldn’t show them a product page (at least not at first). If you first show them a product page when they are looking for information, they may be turned off and leave your site. Also, if people want to purchase an item, you shouldn’t show them a long article. Doing this will only bore them, and they may become frustrated and leave your site.

The best way to find out what people want is by asking them. You can give them a survey to find more about their relatable desires. Then, you can optimize the landing page with the right content or products.


The searching intent is very vital to obtain the highest ranking possible in Google. Optimizing this tool will yield astronomical SEO results.